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Jill Keith

Position: Professor of Biochemistry Department: Biological Sciences and Chemistry

Contact Info

Office: 411 Wilveria Bass Atkinson Science Phone: 336-750-2213


Jill Keith, PhD is Professor of Biochemistry in the Department of Chemistry, Interim Director of Biomedical Research Infrastructure Center (BRIC) at Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) and an Adjunct Professor at Wake Forest University Health Sciences (WFUHS) in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology. She also has responsibilities in the Department of Biological Sciences where she served as departmental chair from 2012-2016. She received her BS degree from the York College-City University of New York and her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland-College Park. Dr. Keith is involved in the assessment of student learning, served on various WSSU’s SACS Leadership Teams and Assessment Committees, coordinated General Biology and served on the department’s curriculum committee.

Dr. Keith has received research and educational grants to enhance the training of students in the classroom and the lab, respectively. In 2011, Dr. Keith-Harp received the Board of Governors award for Excellence in Teaching for her use of active learning in the classroom. In the research lab she has trained over 50  high school and college students; this has led to over 40 research presentations by these students in the areas of drug addiction and STEM education. Her outreach efforts have led to more than 200 middle school students being exposed to science through hands-on activities. Furthermore, interdisciplinary educational grants were awarded to enhance the preparation of students as they pursued professional degrees by enhancing their critical thinking skills in biology, chemistry, psychology, and math. 

Faculty development is important to Dr. Keith as she continually assisted faculty through her service on the Internal Review Board, Research Initiation Program Committee, and facilitating faculty workshops. These collaborative activities have also led to several national conference presentations and workshops. 

Educational Background

  • PhD University of Maryland - College Park

Research and Project Interests

  • CNS disorders related to drug addiction
  • Data science to uncover therapeutics

Pulgar, VM, Harp, J., and Reeves, T.E.  (2022) Molecular modeling and Ca2+ channel blocker activity of diphenylpiperidine derivatives. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. Manuscript submitted for publication

Harp, J. and Propst, K. (2022) The dopamine receptor D1 (DRD1) as a target for developing a therapy for cocaine addiction. Am. J. Biomed. Res. Manuscript accepted for publication.

McEwen T., Fields, J., Jackson C., Harp J., Cardaci C., Tran, N., and  Blaho J. (2021) Applying a ‘mentor-protege' approach to broadening participation of HBCUs in the national innovation network. Technology & Innovation. Manuscript accepted for publication

Presley, T. D., Harp, N. A., Holt, L. S., Samuel, D., and Harp, J. J. (2021). Incorporating Physics Principles in General Biology to Promote Integrative Learning and Thinking. International Journal of Innovative Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 2(1), 1-19. 

Garrett L, Carter, V., Foster, A., Foster L., Keyes, A., Harp J., Magee, T. and Huang, L. (2021) Fostering Retention in STEM Fields at Minority Serving Institutions, Edwin Mellen Press. Accepted for publication.Brown J, Guy BS, Henderson, DX, Ebert CE, Harp JJ and Markert CD. Regenerative medicine: a vehicle to infuse laboratory-bench modules into an exercise physiology curriculum. Adv. Physiol Educ; 2018;42(1):32-42.

Pulgar, VM and Keith-Harp, J. Diphenylmethoxypiperidine-derived cocaine antagonists inhibit vascular contraction. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2014; 24(11):2429-32.

Oleson EB, Ferris MJ, Espana RA, Harp JJ, and Jones, SR. Effects of the HI histamine antagonist and benztropine analog diphenylpyraline on dopamine uptake, locomotion, and reward. Eur J Pharmacol.  2012; 683(1-3):161-165.

Lapa GB, Mathews TA, Harp J, Budygin EA, Jones SR. Diphenylpyraline, a histamine H1 receptor antagonist, has psychostimulant properties. Eur J Pharmacol. 2005; 506(3):237-40.

Lapa GB, Byrd GD, Lapa AA, Budygin EA, Childers SR, Jones SR and Harp JJ. The synthesis and biological evaluation of dopamine transporter inhibiting activity of substituted diphenylmethoxypiperidines. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2005;15(22):4915-8.

Bennett BA, Hollingsworth CK, Martin RS, Harp JJ. Alteration in dopamine transporter function after methamphetamine treatment. Br Res 1997; 782:219-227.

Porter NA, Su Q, Harp JJ, McPhail AT. The stereoselective synthesis of succinamide derivatives via enolate oxidative coupling. Tet Lett 1993; 4457-4460.

Herndon JW, Harp JJ. Cyclization of alkene-containing tetraalkylstannanes. Tet Lett 1992; 33:6243-6246.

Herndon JW, Chatterjee GC, Patel PP, Matasi JJ, Tumer SU, Harp JJ, Reid MD. Cyclopropylcarbene-tungsten complexes + alkynes: A [4+2+1] cycloaddition route for the construction of seven-membered rings. J Amer Chem Soc 1991; 113:7807-7809.

Herndon JW, Wu C, Harp JJ, Kruetzer KK. Exploration of the [3+2] cycloaddition reaction between allylstannanes and a,b-unsaturated acyliron complexes. Synlett 1991; 1-10.

Herndon JW, Wu C, Harp JJ. Reaction of allylstannanes with a,b-unsaturated acyliron complexes: stereoselective synthesis of cyclopentane Derivatives. Organometallics, 1990; 9:3157-3171.

Herndon JW, Harp JJ. Reaction of 5-hexenyltributyltin with pseudohalogens: cyclization vs. double bond addition. J Organomet Chem 1990; 393:C1-C5.